I hate bookmarks. I really do. I always find way more things to bookmark than I can possibly keep organized. And though I will bookmark things (you kind of have to after a while) I despair out of getting any proper use out of what I’ve saved.
Google, last week, announced a compromise between creating lots of bookmarks and saying the heck with it. Now, searchers can mark interesting search results with a star. And the starred results will show up at the top of your search results the next time you do a search that leads to those pages.
Sadly, I did not get to test this myself. Google announced the new feature on March 3, but as I’m writing this a few days later the new feature has not yet rolled out to me. It will be available for all logged-in users eventually, though, so I’ll keep looking.
In the meantime you can see how it works with Google’s blog post. Search results and maps will have stars. Click the stars and the next time you do a search result that you’ve starred, it’ll show up again at the top of your results. Clear enough. The items you star will also sync with your Google Bookmarks and the Google Toolbar.
I like this level of favoriting results as I don’t have to try to keep anything organized. Furthermore I like it better than Google’s SearchWiki, which it is replacing, as I didn’t like the idea of reorganizing Google’s regular search results. With this the starred results are separated out at the top, and it’s easier to see what’s going on.
But there was one very important question I didn’t see answered in Google’s announcement, and I don’t think it’s a question that it’ll answer. Will starring search results change a Web site’s pagerank, or whatever Google is calling it now? If one person stars a page I doubt that will make a difference, but how about if ten thousand people do? Will it change? What if ten thousand people star and page and then suddenly a tenth of them unstar it?